The meet location is different, but don’t expect anything less than stellar performances at Friday’s 34th annual Top 8 Invitational hosted by Los Gatos High School.
San Jose City College will be the location for one of the Central Coast Section’s premier track and field meets that serves as a competitive precursor to what may come in late May at the section championships.
Eight locals from Gilroy and Christopher High are in the select field, making the cut as a result of times of marks obtained at meets earlier this season that place them in the top tier of their disciplines.
The meet is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. and will culminate with the 4×400 relay at around 8:40 p.m. A look at the local draw:
Luis Magana (pole vault): Magana’s 13 feet, 6-inch clearance is the fourth highest jump in the section. Patrick Hughes, a former Gilroy High athlete now at Los Gatos, enters as the No. 1-seed with a 15-07.
Sarina Sandoval (shot put): The school’s record holder (39 feet, 4.25 inches) in the shot put, Sandoval, a senior, placed second at least year’s Top 8 and is currently No. 7 in the section this season.
Jourdan Soares (100-meter dash): Soares, the reigning CCS champion in the 100-meter dash (10.66) has the fifth fastest 100 time in the section this season with an 11.02. Valley Christian’s Byron Marshall holds the top spot this season, blistering through the line with a 10.61 at the Stanford Invitational earlier this month.
Samantha Una Dia (100-meter hurdles): The junior Una Dia (16.34) has the ninth-fastest 100 hurdles time in the section, however the next four above her are all within one half of a second. The junior finished 11th in the hurdles at last year’s Top 8. She will also race in the 300 hurdles.
Chelsey Kalata (200): Kalata, one of GHS’s top sprinters, will race in the third of three 200 heats.
Marcus Harrell (long jump): Harrell, a senior, propelled into the section’s top-five with a 22 feet, 7inch jump at last week’s dual meet against Monterey. That mark puts him at No. 4 in CCS. The top jump (22-11.5) belongs to Bubem Awuzi of Oak Grove.
Ally Foster (long jump): Foster, a freshman, already had a top-five jump (16-10) under her belt.
Marty Ettema (100 hurdles): Ettema is a returning CCS medalist, who is finding his footing after a strenuous recovery from an offseason broken ankle.